Friday Pattern Ilford Jacket Sew-Along Livestream, Kelly Hogaboom / Bespoke Hogaboom

friday patterns ilford jacket sew-along

Friday Pattern Ilford Jacket Sew-Along Livestream, Kelly Hogaboom / Bespoke Hogaboom

It’s that time again! Time for another sew-along. As the seasons change and we expect a bit more warmth where I live – I thought, why not a spring, smock-style jacket?

My selection this month is the Friday Ilford Jacket – a simple garment that’s great for the committed beginner ready to upgrade to trying a sleeve placket and a collar – that kind of thing. 

Joining me once again – I am delighted to say! – is my friend Traci Kay Pryde from @pryde.hantverk and we are leading you every step of the way through this fantastic garment!

friday pattern co ilford jacket

Bust: 32″ – 60″
Waist:  24″ – 53″
Hip: 34″ – 63″

Drop-shoulder unlined jacket in two lengths; pattern comes with a few different pocket templates. Plain sleeve or placket-style sleeve.

I’ll be making the short length, and the placket sleeve. I’ll also be interlining the jacket and I’ll talk about that as I go!

Here are the materials you need!

The Ilford Jacket pattern (here)
Buttons (5 – 10; the pattern recommends 1″ – 1 1/2″)
Bottomweight woven (sewing yardages are on page five of the pattern)
Interfacing (1 yard)
All-purpose thread & topstitching thread*
Needles: denim (or heavy, sharp, universal); topstitch needle*
Buttonhole chisel*

* optional

– as well as your tuned-up sewing machine and manual, cutting equipment, pins, scissors, iron and ironing board!

I’ll be sewing on three machines: my domestic Pfaff, a White serger (for some seam finishing), and my Pfaff 130 (for topstitching). If you don’t have three machines never fear – I will be going over how to construct the garment if you are only sewing with one machine.

Our schedule! This sew-along begins 5 PM Pacific on Tuesday the 23rd, hosted simultaneously on my Twitch channel; the videos are then uploaded to my Vimeo channel if you miss out! And all dates are hosted on my Calendar (here’s a live link you can add to your own).

TUE 23: cutting & marking
WED 24: sleeve plackets* & collar
FRI 26: body, front plackets, & cuffs
FRI 26: pockets, hem, buttons & buttonholes

* This pattern has us constructing sleeve plackets right off the bat, instead of when the garment is almost finished. One caveat: you will want to baste-fit and adjust your sleeve length first, because if your intended wearer needs a much shorter sleeve (as mine does!) you could possibly end up with a too-short sleeve placket if you don’t adjust first.

And finally! The best place to ask questions about this sew-along, is right here in the blog post! This blog post serves as the master document. 

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat
My top five favorite things about this Mustard-Plaid Car Coat:

1. I made it from yardages donated to me: both the shell fabric (a plaid constructed with a knit backing), and the interlining (a polyester fleece). The only bits I purchased were the thread, interfacing, snaps, and jersey lining. Upcycling BOOM!

2. The quilted lining (pictures below), which make it so soft and cozy!

3. The build of the coat itself: it has a lovely one-piece collar design I’ve not worked with in any other pattern. Just gorgeous!

4. My plaid matching (top notch!) – matching at front, sleeve, and cuff – and also back-collar, yoke, and back. I was wearing a (certain name-brand) plaid shirt today, which sets a retail price for simple plaid shirts at $100 to $200. They’re plaid-matching has nothing on mine!

5. My double-welt pockets. I’ve been working on my own method for these pockets and I am getting it down. Beautiful and sturdy!

Mustard-Plaid Car Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Photos of gifts and sewn items trickling in, now that Christmas is here and photos can go public. A while back a friend in the UK sent me her coat to clone. She needed it upgraded, size-wise. We talked about fabrics and she chose a beautiful basketweave from Mood Fabrics. I chose a champagne-colored lining, a pattern for a coat base, and off we went!

Cloned Basketweave Coat

 The new fabric (left) was quite a bit heavier than the original garment. The bulkier fabric made a very different result when it came to the gathers and freeform pleats. (Well. Very different to me, but most people probably wouldn’t notice!)

Sizing up a rather complex garment was no picnic, either! But things seemed to turn out beautifully in the end. Collar:

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Front pockets: the original garment had these very small in-seam pockets – just big enough for a ladyhand. The pockets were also located in a pleated area and are rather hidden. I absolutely loved the look of the ecru satin with the shell fabric.

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Hem and lining:Cloned Basketweave Coat

I sent over the parcel a few days ago; upon receipt yesterday, my friend had to pay £38 in VAT. I’ve sent many things overseas and that’s the first time that’s happened – or at least, that someone told me about it.

Finishing the coat meant – another coat! (for a friend: photos pending), and my Christmas gifts for Ralph and the two kids. As per usual my Christmas was full of a great deal of creative exploits!

DIY: Sewing An Awesome Fucking Blazer

Phee

As promised: some detailed notes on sewing up a lined, underlined blazer with patch pockets. This garment is one of my favorite things to sew (obviously!). Check out those crisp lapels!

Collar/Lapel

& the wee, tiny lined breast pocket! I AM DYING HERE!!1!

Best Breast Pocket, Ever!

OH SHIT lambswool elbow patches with yellow topstitching LIKE A SIR

Elbow Patches: Upcycled Sweater

My kids wear these blazers until they are far too small and quite shabby from all the extensive use. Last summer when I tried to get rid of a jacket – originally fashioned for my daughter, worn a billion times by both children – my son howled and attempted to climb in the clothing donation bin after it. I had to promise to make him another coat just like it. Which I’ll be doing here pretty soon, for the summer.

At any rate, here are a few notes and pictures about constructing such a garment. I’d love to teach this as a course somewhere but, barring something like being picked up by Craftsy, the clientele is just not where I live so this ain’t gonna happen.

Choosing a pattern design, pattern, fabrics, supplies, & notions

Sometimes the pattern dictates fabric choices; sometimes it’s the other way around. Each choice influences the other, so in that respect we learn best by experience – ours, or that of experienced stitchers.

In this case, I chose my pattern first. I drafted a three-button blazer pattern, sort of a Frankenpattern based on design elements I enjoy. This garment features a two piece sleeve and a center back seam and front waist darts, which gives a slightly more fitted, less boxy shape. It also features three lined patch pockets and a full lining. Here is the front piece of the jacket, which includes markings for facings, buttonholes, darts, and pockets:

Front Piece Markings

It might look a little tricky, but honestly this front piece is the only garment piece that has anything tricky about it.

Fabrics

Fabrics & Supplies

(clockwise from upper left: shell fabric, underlining and lining, oval lambswool elbow patches, three buttons, interfacing, silk organza for bound buttonholes)

Shell: I used a wool blend for the shell. It has a lovely tweedy houndstooth weave, making for a great texture. However, the weave is quite loose and this needs to be considered throughout all steps of construction. To wit: 1. straighten the grain before each cut, 2. twice-finish seams, and 3. handle each garment piece carefully while you sew!

Underlining: I used a firm-weave quilter’s cotton for underlining, and underlined only the front and back pieces (not the sleeves). Underlining is one of the single best things you can do for a garment – especially a jacket. The fabric used needs to be lighter weight than the shell fabric, and with a firm hand and solid grain. If you have any questions about underlining, please put them in the comments!

Lining: children’s garments need linings that are slick (for ease of wear) but also quite sturdy, as my kids will immediately climb eighteen trees in their new coat. I used a polyester fashion fabric from Jo-Anns with a nice floral pattern –  shown here at lower-right.

Fabrics

Interfacing (for collar, front facings, jacket and sleeve hems): Inerfacing can be thought of as a way to add some firmness and structure to parts of the coat. It keeps collars and cuffs looking crisp; I also enjoy using it along the jacket and sleeve hems, on the shell fabric, as shown:

Interfacing At Hem

This adds a wonderful, crisp, rugged nature to the hems.

I use Pam Erny’s interfacings. They are worth the little bit of trouble to order them, and Pam provides excellent support in purchasing and using them. If you don’t prepare interfacings properly, you can ruin a garment. Ask me how I know this!

Extras: wool for elbow patches, silk organza for bound buttonholes. The wool came from a thrifted-and-felted 100% lambswool sweater. These kinds of things make great elbow patches and are worth keeping around.

Needle, thread, other notions
I use a Sharp needle for the shell and the lining, at appropriate needle size (16 and 10 resp., in this case). I use Mettler 100% polyester thread. For working with the knit elbow patches: a stabilizer. I use Sulky’s Fabri Sticky-Solvy which comes in very handy for all sorts of projects involving knits.

Sewing machine
A straight-stitch machine is all that is needed; in addition, a serger or zig-zag machine helps for seam finishes but is not necessary.

Cutting, marking, underlining, & interfacing

I cut and mark as I go piece by piece, using tailors thread tacks, especially if, as in this case, the fabrics are prone to raveling and will not tolerate notch-snipping.

In this case, I underlined the body of the garment, minus the sleeves. I marked the shell, underlining, and lining darts on all pieces (six total) using thread. I marked the RS of the shell for the three patch pockets and buttonhole locations. I interfaced the jacket and sleeve hems and then carefully pressed at the hem (as shown above).

Finally, I interfaced the WS of the shell for pocket positioning on the three patch pocket locations.

Sewing darts, staystitching, bound buttonholes, & elbow patches

I sewed darts in shell, underlining, and lining; then I basted underlining to shell and treated the two pieces as one piece:

Basting Underlining

I staystitched the back neckline facing and back lining neckline, as these are two curves that need to be joined and can be a little tricky (Normally, I would trim & notch this seam after I sewed it, but given the loose-weave of the shell fabric, I decided not to risk this.)

As for bound buttonholes: there are many methods to create these; I won’t detail those here. They are best done early in the process of the jacket, before proceeding with shell construction.

Elbow patches: a pattern that includes this feature will also include where to place these patches. However, my children are almost always getting a major length adjustment in their sleeves, so I find my own placement. This is easiest to do by sewing the uppersleeve and the undersleeve together, then pinning the final sleeve seam and placing it, carefully, on the recipient.

Elbow Patch Placement

Elbow Patch Placement

I marked the elbow patch location, unpinned and removed the sleeve then placed it flat on the table. I pinned the patch in four places for stitching. In general, the center midline, lengthwise, of the patch should be parallel to the grainline of the garment.

Elbow Patch Placement

Now: stitchinz! I used a goldenrod thread and two rows of stitching, in a narrow zigzag.

Stabilizer, For Lambswool Elbow Patches

You will note the elbow patches have a wash-away stabilizer attached to them. This is to keep the soft 100% lambswool knit from stretching while I applied the patches to the sleeve. It worked perfectly; it also helps my Pfaff has an IDT system (*yawn, casual brag-stretch*).

Lining & shell construction

I like to make the lining before the shell for a number of reasons. For one thing, linings are oddly tedious to construct, and it gets it out of the way. For another, this is a great way to do a fit check on the client (note: my front facings are overly long; I usually design a little extra there as I finish my jacket hem and lining by hand).

Checking Fit, Using Lining

Checking Fit, Using Lining

The shoulder-width is one of the more important fit considerations on my tall, slim children. Remember, the neckline will be 5/8″ shorter (or whatever the seam allowance is) against the neck.

While seam-finishing isn’t necessary on most linings, I like to do so for extra sturdiness. I used a serger for all seam finishes.

Finishing Seams

Here you can see the aforementioned staystitching at the back neckline facing, as well as the pressed and finished seams:

Seam Finishes: Serged & Pressed

Finishing

I then created the patch pockets and applied them to the shell. I like to make lined pockets, and then attach by a fell stitch. One can always go along and topstitch the pocket, but the fell-stitch allows for perfect placement and will keep the lining from peeping and showing.

I cut my pockets on the bias because I think bias pockets look great. Warning: this can make for pissy pocket construction. If you aren’t pretty familiar with working with bias pieces, first attach a very lightweight interfacing to the WS of the piece you’ll use for bias-cutting, then proceed.

Here are the three pockets, shown at various stages of construction, before being trimmed, turned, and stitched closed:

Lined Pockets

I used a sturdy whip stitch to close the pocket:

Lined Pockets

Finally – topstitching along the garment hems, opening, and sleeve hems adds sturdiness to the garment. I used a triple-stitch to give the right bold topstitch look; you can also use a heavyweight thread if you like. If you don’t use a heavier stitch or thread, the garment fabric may swallow up the effect. Topstitching is an art in and of itself!

Topstitching With Triple-Stitch At Cuff

Collar/Lapel

***

All done! I suspect I will make many more blazers in my time. They are so versatile, can be dressed up or down, and can be made in all types of materials and different weights, depending on the needs of the garment!

And for now, my daughter is all ready to sit in bookstores reading Raymond Chandler graphic novels & looking awesome!

Bookstore Hipster

look what i can do!

Sew an awesome frakkin blazer. But you already knew that.

Springtime!

spring / flame

I saw these fabrics a while back and immediately envisioned this jacket. I pictured the weight – and what interior fabrics I’d use to get it – the style lines, the pockets, everything. I pictured the differences in colorways and was very pleased with how that turned out – even more subtle yet beautiful than how I’d pictured it. In fact in every way I loved designing the elements of the coat and all steps of construction; I am offering a custom version at my Homesewn site for a few days in case anyone else loves it as much as I do.

Walk

In preparation for my upcoming tutorial (an exhaustive, lengthy tutorial) on sewing a lined, underlined, interfaced child’s blazer, I paid a little extra attention to making this one, for posterity. I discovered that photographing the different construction elements of the jacket was a very  illustrative measure.

Interfacing, Underlining

Fabrics

I also adored the little separate piles of fabrics that end up making the construction and durability of  a kick-ass jacket. I am also finding that I prefer using fabric to interfacing for larger pieces, including collar and cuffs. I recently used this technique with Ralph’s wool coat – I haven’t yet blogged it here – and the results were wonderful.

Bound Buttonholes

Bound buttonholes.

This afternoon my mother asked me for a blazer as well, and I look forward to constructing it to fit her needs. I’m pretty much up for making awesome blazer-style coats at any moment and don’t see that ever changing; my one rule is, the garment has to be exciting (for me. to sew.)

 

Dharma Skye

Recipient To-Be

Meet the child who will be getting the custom-made, gratis, “Wollen Jas Blauw” (except it won’t be wollen nor blauw, I’ll bet…)

Dharma Skye

Dharma’s mother wrote me:

“… Dharma Skye. She is 2. It is unlike me to ask to be considered for this gift but our sweet Dharma is missing her right hand and always wants her sleeves rolled up to be able to have her right arm free to use it. I was thinking a jacket that fit her right arm would be awesome. Not sure you would want to make a jacket with two different arm lengths* but that is what would work for Dharma …”

I had eleven applicants for the jacket, most of whom sent me email. I truly hope I didn’t miss anyone, in responding via email.

If you are reading here I want to thank all who responded, and who wrote a bit about their child. Many sent pictures and I almost died at how sweet all these children were. There was this one baby in the bath? I WANTED TO SMASH MY EYES OUT, FROM THE CUTENESS. I wish I could just get paid and sew coats, the perfect coats, or whatever, for every child who needed or wanted one.

Thank you so much, dear readers and supporters.

* Wow. I so want to sew a jacket with two different arm lengths. I am incredibly excited.

Wollen Jas Blauw

special just FOR YOUUUUU

Wollen Jas Blauw

It’s official – I’d like to make a gift-version of Wollen Jas Blauw for your kid. That’s right, your kid. Or a kid you know. The child should be anywhere from very wee (a baby) up until around five years old.

There’s no catch at all; I need to sew a sample and want an end-destination for it.

Since this is custom sewing there are a few things you should know.

1. Make sure you consider the child’s preferences as the number one factor. Maybe YOU like the coat but the kiddo is like, “meh” about coats in general. If the child is age two or up, they likely have preferences about fabrics, warmth, color, and motifs (i.e. the crest on the arm). These preferences may be stated aloud or you may be able to just notice them (as in the case of warmth). The more details you send me the more likely everyone will be happy. A picture of the kiddo is bonus as I can get a feel for colors and temperament, etc.

2. Colors and materials will be at my discretion but again, any input from you is fabulous. I will likely not make up a wool coat for various reasons (mostly because many kids object to wool), but rather a poly fleece one.  I would consider a poly fleece coat of this type to be fairly light, good for layering – depending on where you live.

3. The absolutely best thing you could do for me if you’re selected, is get a good, natural-light photo or two of the kiddo in the coat. But this is not something I require, at all… it just makes my day.

Please send me an email at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org if this is a fit for you!